What is it?

It is characterised by many physical, emotional and behavioural changes and symptoms. It affects around 80% of women during the last week of the menstrual cycle. The main reason for PMS and its symptoms is an imbalance or fluctuation in hormonal levels.  The symptoms reset approximately 7 days before menses appear and recede shortly after menstrual flow begins.

According to western medicine PMS symptoms are triggered by elevated levels of oestrogen.

Some of the physical symptoms of PMS are:
•  Increased appetite
• Cravings for certain kind of foods especially sweet or salty treats
•  Bloating and weight gain
•  Fatigue, tiredness and lack of energy
•  Cramps in the abdomen
•   Headaches
•   Swelling and tenderness in breasts
•   Muscle and joint ache
•   Lower back pain
•  Low libido
•  Constipation or diarrhoea
•  Tendency to easily catch cold
•  Palpitations
•  Clumsiness
•   Acne

Emotional symptoms:
•  Poor concentration
•  Sad or depressed mood
•   Anger, irritability or aggression
•    Anxiety
•    Frequent mood swings
•     Decreased alertness
•     Withdrawal from family and friends
•     Weeping

Elevated stress may affect conception as it blocks blood flow to reproductive organs and causes imbalance in hormone production. This results in irregular menstrual cycle, lack of ovulation, and high FSH levels. Poor ovarian production, and decreased egg quality are other major problems.

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Can Help
Experts have found evidence that Chinese medicine in combination with acupuncture reduces these severe and elevated PMS symptoms:

•       Regular sessions alter your brain’s mood chemistry which works to reduce serotonin levels and also increases endorphins and neuropeptide Y levels
•       Acupuncture and Chinese medicine also stimulate the nerves located in muscles, which leads to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors
•       It also changes the processing of pain in your brain and spinal cord
•       Reduces inflammation as it promotes release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors in the body together with all this, your acupuncturist can even recommend nutritional changes and lifestyle counselling.

For long-term remedy, chinese natural treatment need to preferably be received in combination with acupuncture continuously for a long period. As with all natural medicines, this treatment should more or less take over the duration of three menstrual cycles.

Acupuncture works to free the flow of energy in your body and stabilizes hormonal fluctuations.
It additionally facilitates calm your thoughts by means of uprooting the cause of stress. This mitigate PMS symptoms and increased emotional harmony.
Suppressed feelings disrupt the natural flow of Qi and create imbalances, Liver Qi stagnation, emotional anxiety and/or depression.

Chinese herbs enhance the natural functioning of the hormones and additionally alleviate negative emotions. Herbs like vitex, black cohosh, bupleurum, and white peony are used in Chinese herbal medicine treatments to stabilise your hormones and treat Qi stagnation.

There are four phases in the menstrual cycle:
After period, before ovulation, after ovulation and before period, during every phase we treat accordingly with acupuncture, the best time to start the treatment for balancing the hormones and heal your reproductive system is at the beginning of the cycle, which is last day of your period or first week from the beginning of your period.  I also show you how you can continue treatment at home with moxa, self massage and specific exercises and we look at your diet.

Please let me know if you find this article useful, Thanks
Uby Munoz Lic. Ac.

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